By Staff Writer
In an honored tradition at St. Isidore School, students, faculty and parents welcomed veterans to the annual Veterans Day Celebration. On Friday, November 8th, Principal Maria Ward welcomed over 40 invited guests who spoke of their military duty, years of service and emotional journey to return home. Each one shared their story to give students an understanding of what it means to be a veteran and to serve our country. Veterans gave the 640 St. Isidore School students a vivid picture of their varied years of service and duties ranging from WWII up to the current day.
Veterans came accompanied by and sat with their special guests who were their great grandchildren, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sons and daughters of St. Isidore School. Student Council acknowledged them with a flower.
Guest speaker Colonel Erich Novak, father of Charlie in 8th grade, Atticus in 2nd grade and graduate Charlotte of St. Isidore School and current Junior at Carondelet High school, spoke of his current duty in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. His duties include flying tankers to gas and refuel aircraft, hauling cargo, including medical supplies, humanitarian duties and the transport of important dignitaries. He was able to show the students his helmet that is worn during training flights and models of the planes he pilots. Colonel Novak has served in the Gulf War, Libya and Afghanistan.
The students heard a clear message from Colonel Novak to “do well in school”. He emphasized the value and importance of our Constitution and how all soldiers have dedicated themselves to protecting it and all the freedoms that come from it. He spoke of the oath that he and his fellow veterans take to defend the Constitution of the United States and was touched and honored to be in the same company with those who served in wars past. Colonel Novak said, “All of us have sacrificed a lot, but there are many who have sacrificed all to defend our Constitution and our freedom.”
Veterans are invited each year to be honored by St. Isidore students. Councilman Mike Doyle, who served in the Army 1947-1953, attended the ceremony again. He was honored to be a part of the celebration and stand with his fellow veterans.
It was a special day for the students and staff who were filled with emotion following the event.